Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

M. Ala Saadeghvaziri

Second Advisor

William R. Spillers


The Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989 in California was one of the most disastrous earthquakes in U.S history. It caused damage to commercial, residential, and industrial structures, transportation and utilities.

This study includes investigations about the Cypress Viaduct collapse re?ported by:

  1. California Governor's Board of Inquiry [4].
  2. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NEL) W.
  3. 3The Author.

Investigators in the first report concluded that the collapse was due to horizontal ground motion. In the second one, it was due to the vertical ground motion.

In the author's investigation, a detailed static and dynamic analyses are performed to determine the cause of the failure. Static analyses are performed to determine the moment and shear capacities of the critical sections. Also to predict the mode and sequence of failure. Dynamic analyses are performed employing the finite element software ADINA to investigate the effect of ground motion on the Viaduct.



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